AN INCREDIBLE goal on the final kick of the match by Maddy Guerin has seen the Casey Demons defeat Essendon by three points at Windy Hill on Saturday.
Casey Demons 5.5 (35) defeated Essendon 5.2 (32).
Trailing by 11 points heading into the final term, the Demons would need to dig deep to secure the victory, and the team responded.
Something head coach Damien Keeping credits to the resiliency of his team.
“No point in the second half did we sense we were out of the game,” Keeping told Melbourne Media.
“That is one of the characteristics of this group, they have a lot of collective strength.
“It took us a good half, three-quarters to get going… But once we did get the game on our terms, we didn’t look like losing.
“There is a really good feeling going around the group now.”
The final quarter called for the leaders to stand up, and the experienced players did just that.
Bianca Jakobsson was immense up forward taking strong marks and Eden Zanker pushed into the midfield to give the Demons possessions in the waning moments.
But it was the drive of Maddy Guerin which powered the Demons over the line.
The Melbourne AFLW-listed star laid a number of heavy tackles and contested every ground ball in the final moments earning her what would be the game-winning free kick.
Despite blustery conditions, Guerin was able to nail the pressure kick, drawing the praise from her captain for the kick but also her team’s ability to be in the contest.
“We have worked really hard over the pre-season so we back our fitness in 100%,” Nicole Garner said.
“We started to run over the top of them in the second half… We had full faith we could come back.
“Then for the amazing composure from Maddy to go back and slot that one... It is an amazing feeling.”
From the outset, the Demons were challenged by a pesky Essendon outfit spurned on by a big home crowd.
The Essendon side proved to be a competitive opponent destined to surprise teams this season.
Keeping was happy his team was challenged so early in the season.
“Essendon put it to us, it is a great credit to them,” Keeping said.
“To challenge us like that today was good for them but good for us too.
“It provided a really good learning experience for us.”
It was a sensational start to the 2019 season.
Next up the Demons welcome the Carlton Blues to Casey Fields on Saturday.
With an AFLW star-studded line-up themselves, it will be another challenge for our Casey Demons girls.
CASEY DEMONS 0.0 2.2 2.3 5.5 (35)
ESSENDON 1.0 2.1 4.2 5.2 (32)
Zanker, Jakobsson, Birch, Guerin, Emonson, Bentvelzen
Guerin 3, Jakobsson 2